Corcomroe Abbey is beautifully situated on the edge of the rocky hills of the Burren. It was founded for Cistercian monks around 1195 as a daughter house of the Abbey at Inisloughnaght, Co. Tipperary. The church was constructed in the early 13th century and consists of a nave with an aisle on the south side. It appears that it was intended to construct a similar aisle on the north side of the nave, but this may never have been completed, perhaps due to lack of funds.
At the east end is a presbytery or chancel with a decorated ribbed vault lit by narrow lancet windows. There is a north and south transept, each with a single chapel. Where the presbytery and transepts meet there are several crossing arches that feature capitals with some wonderful carvings of human heads and flowers, including poppies, lily-of-the valleys and lotus. In the chancel is highly decorated sedilia and the effigy tomb of Conor O’Brien (d. 1268), king of the ancient territory of Thomond and descendant of the founders and benefactors of the abbey.
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